AP announced Thursday that it will spin off its News Registry into a new unit, the News Licensing Group. No, it is not an effort to license journalists, but to create an independent collective of more than a thousand publications trying to retain more of the value of news content they must, of necessity, putting online.
"The News Licensing Group will be owned by news publishers, and fulfill a need for an efficient means to protect and license digital news content from thousands of news organizations to the wide and growing range of digital communications products and services," said AP in announcing the spin-off, targeted for this summer.
AP is following up on President Tom Curley's pledge last October to find ways to better monetize news content online to address the siphoning off of value by content scraping, copying, aggregating, and others' more inventive and creative uses of content.
The AP board said at the time it would be creating the digital rights clearinghouse.
The News Registry, which was launched last summer, "tags, tracks and measures use of content online."
The licensing group will make sure enforcement is also part of the equation, so that intellectual property rights are respected and news organizations can make "continued investments in their news operations," Curley said Thursday in a statement.
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